Jaybird has been at the head of Bluetooth fitness headphones for years. The Jaybird X2 blew up the competition when they left, and last year the company launched the real wireless Jaybird Run, which we liked but did not leave us stunned. Today, Jaybird is playing with his strength and launching a new pair of Bluetooth headphones: the Jaybird X4. So, are they better than the previous models or is it the same story with a different cover? Let's find out
Who should buy Jaybird X4?
- Fitness lovers. Like the Jaybird X3 and X2 above, the Jaybird X4 has a bit of everything and is a great pair of all-in-one headphones.
- People debate whether they should get the previous X3. Normally, I am in favor of waiting for a new version of something to come out. Not because I want to buy it, but because I want to buy the previous version at a cheaper price. I can not say it here because the addition of IPX7 waterproofing is definitely worth the money for me.
Finally, a waterproof construction on a Jaybird product
Let's move on to the biggest improvement with Jaybird X4 headphones: waterproofing! One of my biggest complaints with the previous Jaybird X3 headphones was that they were not waterproof, they only had a sweat resistant layer. The Jaybird X4 takes that sweat-proof coating and offers you a waterproof IPX7 certification, which means you no longer have to worry if you get caught in torrential rain or if you drop them in a pool. An IPX7 rating means that you can submerge them for up to 30 minutes in up to one meter of water. These are not the first headphones to have a sweat-proof coating and an IPX7 certification, but it's a welcome addition to the Jaybird line, even if it's the company that tries to catch up.
Besides that, there really are not too many differences in how they look and feel. The story is similar to the last time, with an emphasis on refining the line instead of redefining it. They are still made of plastic (which is good because it keeps them light at about 14.7 grams), and the control module is still very thin. It is almost exactly the same as in the Jaybird X3, which is not bad considering how thin that control module was. The only other new features I could find had more to do with the design than with the quality of construction. The Jaybird logo is now part of the paint job instead of being printed on a cheap metal sticker, the wing tips now have a large hole instead of a smaller ton, and the gray model nozzle is painted blue , and I'm totally for it. Nobody will know, but every time I change the headphones, but that's why I like it. It is your little secret.
The control module has three buttons on it and, like the previous module, they all work fine and I had no trouble reaching them while running to adjust the volume or jump between tracks. Speaking of running, he was a big fan of the plastic webbing on the cable that allows you to adjust the cable. The Jaybird series always had it, but I could never make it work for me and I ended up using headphones hanging under my chin. This is the first time I can use them comfortably behind my head, without having to worry about them getting out of my ears. So yes, the adjustment is pretty good. Especially when you change the tips of the silicone headphones to memory foam ones (which also help with the insulation).
Unfortunately, everything is a give and take. Although the memory foam tips helped with the insulation, they were surprisingly uncomfortable, and I chose the smallest of the two pairs included in the box. But I will gladly change a slight discomfort for a better sound any day of the week.
Bluetooth and the Jaybird application
The resistance of the connection was the average of what you would expect from a Jaybird product, which means that it is better than good enough but not surprising. Practically, I had no problems. I did not experience jumps while running or when I was using them while walking through my room, and when I was testing the range I did not have any scraps until I reached 30 or 40 feet. Then, even for regular Bluetooth standards: it is quite legitimate. Again, I have virtually no complaints, but the nerd in me still wants these to have Bluetooth 5.0.
The playback controls were also intuitive, and I did not have to search the instructions to find out. You can adjust the volume by touching the plus or minus buttons and jump between the tracks while holding them down. Then there's the multi-function button in the middle that acts as a pause / play button (or answer / end call button) when played, and gives you access to Siri or the Google Assistant in a long press.
Then there's the Jaybird application that you can connect to with your Spotify account and play music, although I do not know why you would do it. What is really useful are the equalization presets that you can check to change the sound of your music. And if you do not find one that you like, you can always do yours and save it as a preset.
How long is the battery?
Then there's the battery life. Jaybird claimed 8 hours on the previous X3 headphones and almost hit the nail on the head. With Jaybird X4, nothing has changed. They claimed 8 hours of constant reproduction and in our tests we obtained 7.5 hours. So yes, it's safe to say that whether you're going to work or work out at the gym after you do not have to worry too much about these deaths. To load them, simply place them in the charging cradle just like the previous version, and connect them to a USB port. It's still annoying, but at least Jaybird is consistent.
Although you can change the way they sound through the application, I kept them in the "flat" profile, which is how they are configured just out of the box. Even so, the Jaybird X4 buds seem to have a slight emphasis on the lower notes. The bass drumming on the song Generator ^ Second Floor by Freelance Whales was not overwhelming at any time, and I would say that the slight push really helped me to listen to the music a little better while I was running outdoors.
The lower notes are usually the first to come out when there is outside noise and the umpf additional helped very well, although you may feel disappointed if you are used to it to the exaggerated bass of something like the Powerbeats3. But if you fall into that category, you can always choose that sound profile in the application. I was not a big fan of the media and it's probably because they seem to emphasize the voice a bit too much with respect to other instruments. This was evident in the song Street Lights by Kanye West, where his self-linked voice was masking some of the softer elements in the background. Again, it's not bad if you want to sing your music while you're training, but it's not the best to listen to the nuances of your favorite songs.
As it is the case of the wireless headphones that you are going to use in the gym, I do not believe that the lack of sound clarity is a problem. The Jaybird X4 sounds more than enough for anyone going to the gym or going for a run, but in reality there is no drastic difference from its predecessor, the Jaybird X3. Also, they look almost exactly the same, so if you already have a pair of Jaybird X3 headphones: you probably do not need to hurry to order them. Having said that, there is one aspect of the headset that for me is an easy recommendation on previous versions and that is the IPX7 waterproof certification.
The X4 addressed some of the biggest criticisms of the previous Jaybird X3 headphones, so that meaning: congratulations to the people of Jaybird for listening to the comments! In addition, the Jaybird X4 headphones cost $ 129, which is the same price as the Jaybird X3 at launch, so you will not have to pay more for the upgrade. That said, we know it's still quite expensive (even if that's not expensive for a Jaybird product). So, if you want to buy a lower cost headset that will do the job, we will cover it. But if you're ready to jump into a pair of favorite internet training headphones, then there's really no reason to get the Jaybird X3 headphones on the new Jaybird X4. Even if the X3 buds went on sale, I would still prefer to have the peace of mind of the IPX7 certification plus the sweat-proof nano-coating, but that's the way I am.